Remembering #PradeepKumar on his 92nd birth anniversary.

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Pradeep Kumar (born Pradeep Batabyal; 4 January 1925–27 October 2001) was an actor in Bengali and Hindi films.

When Kumar was 17 years old, he decided to take up acting. His started his film career in Bengali films. His notable roles in Bengali films were in Alaknanda(1947) directed by renowned filmmaker Debaki Bose and in ’42 (1951).

Pradeep Kumar Batabayal then shifted to Bombay and Filmistan studios, and had an important role in the film Anand Math (1952). He played the lead role with Bina Rai in Anarkali (1953) and with Vyjayanthimala in Nagin (1954). Both films were very popular and had songs that added to the movies success. He had a spate of releases in the second half of the 1950s. He did not enjoy as much success in the 1960s, though Ghoonghat (1960) , Taj Mahal (1963) and Aarti were successful. He worked with Meena Kumari in 7 films i.e. Adil-E-Jahangir, Bandhan, Chitralekha, Bahu Begum, Bheegi Raat, Aarti & Noorjehan & with Mala Sinha in 8 films i.e. Naya Zamana, Hamlet, Baadshah, Detective, Fashion, Ek Shola, Duniya Na Maane, and Mitti Mein Sona.

He did not get to act in lead roles with the newer heroines of the 1960s like Sadhana, Saira Banu, Babita or Sharmila Tagore, though he did work with Asha Parekh in Ghoonghat and Meri Surat Teri Aankhen & with Waheeda Rehman in Raakhi(1963). In 1969, he moved to character roles with Sambandh and Mehboob Ki Mehndi, but did not have many visible roles till Jaanwar and Razia Sultan in 1983.

He won the Kalakar Award-Lifetime Achievement Award (1999).

Pradeep Kumar died in Calcutta on 27 October 2001, at the age of 76. He is survived by his daughters Reena, Meena and Beena Banerjee who plays character roles in movies and TV serials including Uttaran, son Debiprasad and granddaughters Tanisha, Riya and Hrishita. Beena Banerjee’s son son Siddharth Banerjee worked as assistant director in Sajid Khan’s Housefull 2 (2012) andHimmatwala (2013)

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Celebrating Cinema

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